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Our expert partners
RailTech, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Contact: Professor Christopher P.L. Barkan (cbarkan@illinois.edu)
Or Program Coordinator, Ms Emma J Ehrenhart (trapp3@illinois.edu)

Current Research Projects:
Advanced Track Engineering
  • Integration of Railroad Vehicle-Track Interaction and Dynamics Models
  • Development of Evaluation and Planning Models for Track Maintenance
  • Innovations to Improve Track System Safety and Performance
Railway Track Components
  • Mechanistic Design Approach for Crossties and Fastening Systems
  • Failure Mode Analysis and Optimization of Components and Materials
  • Modeling, Structural Analysis, and Structural Design of Railway Track Components.
Safety and Risk
  • Hazardous Materials Rail Transportation Risk Analysis
  • Tank Car Safety Design Statistical Analysis and Optimization
  • Train Accident Statistical Analysis & Big Data Analytics
Rail Network Capacity & Systems Analysis
  • Capacity Models for Mixed-Use Freight and Passenger Rail Corridors
  • Optimal Infrastructure Expansion Strategies for Increased Rail Capacity
  • Network Effects and Interaction of Terminal and Mainline Delay
Rail Operational and Energy Efficiency
  • Passenger Rail Energy Consumption and Emissions Relative to Competing Modes
  • Economic and Operating Impacts of Implementing New Locomotive Technologies
  • Optimization of Investments to Improve Passenger Rail Corridor Performance
High-speed and Passenger Rail
  • Illinois 220-mph HSR Feasibility Study
  • Shared Passenger-Freight Rail Corridor Technical Challenges

Centre for Geomechanics and Railway Engineering, University of Wollongong, Australia

Principal Partner: Distinguished Professor Buddhima Indraratna (indra@uow.edu.au)
Contact: A/Professor Cholachat Rujikiatkamjorn (cholacha@uow.edu.au)

The Centre for Geotechnics and Railway Engineering (GRE) was established at UOW under the leadership of Professor Buddhima Indraratna more than a decade ago and as a result of several geotechnical and rail track projects funded by the ARC since the mid-1990s. GRE has continued to prosper through numerous external grants (ARC DP and Linkage, CRC for Rail Manufacturing and Environment Trust), and is one of the 3 nodes forming the ARC Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Sciences and Engineering. The GRE is well equipped with state-of-the art geotechnical laboratories and excellent technical staff support. It is a key component of UOW’s SMART Infrastructure Facility commissioned in 2011, and well supported internally as a strategic research priority. The University of Wollongong is home of Australian National Facility for Cyclic Testing of High-speed Rail and Facility of Large-scale Impact Tester.

State Key Laboratory of Traction Power, Southwest Jiaotong University, P.R. China

Principal Partner: Professor Wanming Zhai (wmzhai@swjtu.edu.cn)
Contact: Dr. Shengyang Zhu (syzhu@swjtu.edu.cn)

The State Key Laboratory of Traction Power (TPL) is a state key open research laboratory which is affiliated to the Ministry of Education of China and attached to Southwest Jiaotong University. Preparations were started in 1989 for the construction of TPL and its first-stage construction was finished in 1993. TPL started to carry out research and tests in 1994. In 1995 TPL was officially approved by the central government and later was evaluated as the first-class State Key Laboratory twice in 2003 and 2008 respectively. The subject of Transportation Engineering to which TPL is attached is mainly taught by the staff of TPL and ranked first in the evaluations made by the Ministry of Education in 2003, 2008 and 2013.

TPL’s objectives are to conduct high-level research in both science and technology to meet the demands of Chinese railway modernization, strengthen the fundamental research and its application, and develop leading scholars and experts in the field of railway vehicle systems. Targeting on the high-speed, heavy-haul and other modern track vehicles, TPL concentrates on the fundamental research, technology innovation and system integration. The main research areas include vehicle design theory and structure reliability, vehicle coupling system dynamics and control, maglev train technologies, tribology theory and application, traction, power supply, transmission and control, measurement and test technologies. TPL is equipped with a roller test bench for the whole vehicle, pantograph-catenary interaction test stands and other self-developed equipment.

TPL has an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally. The highly qualified staff affiliated to the laboratory have worked actively on many major programs sponsored by the Chinese government related to Chinese high-speed railway, and have been awarded a dozen of science and technology prizes granted by the national or provincial governments.

Regional Transportation Planning and High-Speed Rail Research Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Principal Partner: Professor Joseph M Sussman (sussman@mit.edu)
Contact: Sara Fuschetto (fusc@mit.edu)

The Regional Transportation Planning and High-Speed Rail Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is directed by Joseph Sussman, JR East Professor, Emeritus and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems, Emeritus. Drawing members from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), the Institute of Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), the group focuses on regional transportation planning with special emphasis on high-speed rail (HSR). As members of this research group, we are energized by the potential for innovative solutions to emerge for the problems we are working on, and contributing to the ongoing and active debate about the critical contemporary issues facing society. Email us at hsr_group@mit.edu.

Current Research Interests: Strategic Regional Transportation Planning, High-Speed Rail (HSR), and Complex Sociotechnical Systems (CSS).